Having introduced the 2.0 version of Tantric on record with 2008's The End Begins (with founding members and ex-Days of the New members Todd Whitener, Jesse Vest, and Matt Taul all having become ex-members of Tantric too), lead singer Hugo Ferreira doesn't seem to have felt there was any reason to wait the usual three years before releasing another album, and so Mind Control follows only 15 months later. (And really, in the music business environment of the 2000s, in which the sales life of an album is much abbreviated from previous decades, why not?) His backup musicians may have been replaced since 2007 (and the drum chair has now passed to a third man, Richie Monica, with Marcus Ratzenboeck joining on electric violin), but Ferreira still positions Tantric squarely in the post-grunge tradition of peers like System of a Down, Linkin Park, and, especially, Nickelback, placing his sonorous, husky baritone over tracks that sometimes border on heavy metal, but usually retain a melodic hard rock flavor. He sneaks in some of his own piano playing, notably on the intro and outro to "Coming Undone," and gives some rein to guitarist Joe Pessia, who does Eddie Van Halen-style shredding on "Coming Undone"; contributes attractive acoustic work on the power ballad "The Past Is the Past"; and enjoys his own showcase on the guitar interlude "Intermezzo," when he isn't simply crunching big riffs. So, there are at least hints that Ferreira and his new bandmates have ambitions beyond their genre, but there are also some more potential entries in Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart here.
Mind Control Review
by William Ruhlmann